Sunday, May 31, 2009

1300 Days

I have a doomsday countdown thingy on my home page. I noticed that there are 1,300 days left until The Big Poof on Dec. 21, 2012. The Big Poof may come a little sooner than that if somebody doesn't slip a little Thorazine into Kim Jong-il's tea. Dude is a little psychotic. Needs to have a heart-to-heart chat with Hirohito about history and the side effects of souped-up atoms.

When I read what North Korea is up to a scene from an old movie sifts up from the gray matter. The name of the movie is long gone and I don't remember any of the actors. The plot is that some kid hacks in to The Big Military Nuclear Missile Computer (TBMNMC) using an old boatanchor of a computer that isn't even capable of running Pong. TMMNMC goes on the offensive to launch a nuclear strike. It plays a zillion games of Tic-Tac-Toe, the runs a zillion nuclear strike scenarios.

The nuclear strike scenarios are what stick in my brain. On the wall is a huge map of the world. Arcs of light run back and forth between the continents, over and over and over. Somehow I can see that happening in real life sometime soon. Bright red arcs going east, bright orange arcs going west. Big blobs of color obliterating all the continents. Humm....

In the end the computer decides from playing all those games of Tic-Tac-Toe that it is pointless to play because there is no winner. Therefore, a nuclear strike is pointless because there would not be a winner either. The computer goes from DEFCON 5 back to DEFCON 1. The world is saved from nuclear destruction.

I think this movie should be translated into Korean post-haste and shown at video night next Friday in Mr. Kim's palace.

Now is not the time for the military to be kicking out any nice gay Korean-speaking linguists who can run a VCR.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At Wit's End

This true story comes from an old clipping from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It's a tragic story, but Sissy and I rolled on the floor laughing because it's just so *Arkansas*.

"He needed killin'" is still a valid defense here.

Names were changed to protect the guilty.

"Myrtle", a 75-year-old woman remained in jail without bail on capital-murder charges in connection with the shooting death of her husband "Walter", age 74.
Myrtle told police she was "at her wit's end" and decided to shoot her husband because he wanted sex.

"I was just at my wit's end," Myrtle told the police. "That old peckerwood was always chasing me around the house. I couldn't get anything done!"

After drinking four or five beers, she took a gun out of the nightstand beside her sleeping husband and took it into the bathroom to see if it was loaded. She returned to the bedroom and, in the dark, shot him three times in the head.

Myrtle told police she was sorry for what she had done but was relieved her husband was gone...

...him *and* his damned Viagra.



So, if there are any peckerwoods reading this post, take heed. As you gaze down at your little blue football, remember there are southern women at their wit's end who have accurate aim...even in the dark.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Conspiracy of Women

Hubby thinks there is a conspiracy among women. He claims we use our feminine wiles to control, cajole and manipulate men to do our bidding. Then we tell them they're doing it wrong.

He's correct but I'll never admit that to him. We teach this to the young girlings starting sometime just after potty training.

But the fact is girls are hardwired with this ability. The more time spent around the male of the species, the faster the skills sharpen. Yes, we old crones pass along pointers to the younger generation every now and then, but they do quite well on their own, thank you very much.

As an example, a recent conversation with my eleven-year-old niece Jen:

Jen: Did you see my new bowling ball?

(A glorious purple sparkly thing, custom drilled for her tiny hands. Nice ball bag too, and shoes.)

Me: Very nice! Why do you have your own ball? Do you go bowling a lot???

Jen: No, not really. We went once then Daddy bought me a ball. You know how he is.

Me: Spoils you rotten, huh?

Jen: Yep.

Me: Take advantage of that while you've got the opportunity kid.

Jen: Oh, I intend to.

Sometime you guys just make it easy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hubby has PMS

Hubby jumps up suddenly and announces he's going to the store for ice cream. Asks me if I need anything. Yes, milk and lettuce.

Here's what he bought:

...and milk and lettuce.

Snapping Turtle!

Cheezburger the Porch Cat was lounging around all slit-eyed when he suddenly went into attack mode. Following his twitchy-whiskered stare I saw a lumbering medieval gray thing ambling up my neighbor's front walk. It looked for all the world like a Komodo Dragon - long legs, swaying from side to side, thick tail dragging on the ground.

Dang, I thought to myself, I need to lay off the caffeine and quit watching Discovery Channel. I'm hallucinating. But Cheezburger could see it too.

On closer observation it was a ginormous snapping turtle! Snapping turtle identification: Pointy nipple thingies on the top rear of the shell and a serrated shell edge near the tail. (Click on photos to embiggen)

He was headed up to the third step in this first photo. He stepped up onto the first and second like it was no big deal. He had some big ol' long legs. He kinda hunkered down when I accosted him with the camera.

Get a load of that tail! I've never seen such a thing on a turtle. The little box turtles around here are about a quarter of this guy's size. You can barely see their tails.

See all the cut grass on his head? My next-door neighbor had the thickety back of her property cleaned out this morning. It probably roused this poor guy out of his habitat. I kinda felt sorry for him. He has that deer-in-the-headlights look in his sweet little eyes.

His claws are larger than Cheezburger's.

The Spousal Urban Wildlife Relocation Unit arrived with a shovel to move Mr. Turtle to safer surroundings at a nearby creek. The poor turtle is looking pretty miserable at this point.

Turtle sez: "Now what? This day is just going from bad to worse."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bit and Pieces

I cleaned up my computer nest today and ended up with a pile of little pieces of paper. I jot down quotes, ideas, and craziness that inspire me, thinking I will turn the kernel of the idea into some full-blown blog post. Well, I need to toss the paper and I don't have the time to devote to hours of verbosity, so I'm posting them here in their raw form.



"The question is not where will your dreams take you, but where will you take your dreams?"

-TV commercial with Dennis Hopper



A guy went house hunting the other day. He went to his employee's house and shot up the house and car with a rifle.

Bag limits in Arkansas for houses: One per season
Penalty for being over limit: 5 to 10 in the state pen

Joint investigation on-going between County Sheriffs Office and Arkansas Game & Fish wardens.

And you thought you had a sucky boss.



The classical Great Masters (of art) like DaVinci were great because they were able and creative enough to: "turn the abstract into the tangible."

-Angela Baldwin

i.e. Able to take a complicated concept and condense it to something simple and understandable.



"The feeling that it's all a lot of oysters but no pearls."

-Counting Crows lyric



"Marble Orchards" - a term for cemeteries.

-comment by Rosemary



When I was a kid I dreamed of the day
I wouldn't have to go to school anymore.
Now I'm a teacher.
The cold hand of irony.

-on Twitter



Forecast is partly cloudy with
trouser stains.




-seen on a car in a demolition derby

This could be a starting point for a great
Southern Gothic novel.



"I'd rather be HATED for who I am than LOVED for who I am NOT."

-found in a frame of somebody's YouTube video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Earth Wind & Fire and Slugs in the Bathtub

I really shouldn't listen to music late at night. I start taking long, winding trips down memory lane and write about it. Verbosity gets the better of me.

Oh well, here goes.

Earth, Wind & Fire was on the radio tonight and it took me back in time to my freshman and sophomore years in college. I was dating Band Boy. Band geeks are weird enough in high school but at the college level they are semi-professional band geeks. Really strange bunch. They all lived in the rattiest, nastiest old houses.

Band Boy lived a block off campus in a ratty old house with 12 foot ceilings. Generations of music majors had lived there and as long as the monthly rent checks didn't bounce the landlord let them wreck the place. The floors were so bouncy the stereo turntable was suspended by chains from the ceiling. I thought this was a pretty inventive solution actually. Music majors didn't have much but they all had killer stereo systems with suspended turntables.

Unfortunately, BB didn't have a very good album collection. Lots of Holst, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, and Sousa marches. The only popular music album he owned was Earth, Wind & Fire. Parties at his house had this lone album played over and over and over and over. I grew to hate it then but it brings back memories now.

BB lived in one bedroom and Two Guys, both music majors too but hated enemies of BB, lived in the other bedroom. I never quite understood the dynamic of living in a house with people you didn't like. I guess the rent was cheap and it was better than living in the dorm. They seemed to be able to avoid one another so it worked for them.

I liked the two guys a lot and hung out with them more than I ever hung out with BB. That right there should tell you something about BB.

Anyway, Two Guys graduated and Barracuda, the little sister of one of them, moved in to their old room. I really liked her too. Since Band Boy and Barracuda couldn't really afford the rent split two ways, they let a freshman move into what was the breakfast nook. It was maybe 6'x6' and had no heat and no door, but they charged him a full 1/3 rent anyway. Freshmen music majors aren't the sharpest tacks in the box. Once again, I guess it was better than the dorm.

The old house had hardwood floors but no subfloor. The hardwood was nailed directly to the joists. That meant about 3/4" of wood separated the occupants from the Great Underneath. During a toga conga line BB crashed through the dining room floor and squashed his manparts on the floor joist. They covered up the hole with a rug. Manparts got ice. I laughed and pointed.

The bathroom had an old clawfoot bathtub with a homemade wooden surround to turn it into a shower. It wasn't waterproof so water got on the floor underneath the tub and eventually the two back legs fell through the floor. The belly of the tub was sitting on a joist thank god or the whole thing would have gone under the house.

A two inch crack opened up between the tub rim and the trim, letting in an earthy smell from parts below. On warm mornings the tub was full of garden slugs swimming around and crawling up the shower curtain. Ewwwww. I don't know how those guys lived like that. It didn't bother them in the least. Men are such pigs. I felt sorry for Barracuda having to shower in that nastiness.

On Sunday mornings after a party the place was littered with bodies. We would all eventually come to (as opposed to wake up) and watch old black and white episodes of The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid. "Ohhhhhh Ciscooooo (smirk from Pancho), Ohhhhhh Panchoooooo (smirk from Cisco)" The Cisco Kid was not a very PC show come to think of it.

TV time ended around noon and we would load up en masse and go to Andy's for breakfast/lunch. We all stunk of old beer and cigarette smoke, and had smeared makeup (the girls did) and uncombed hair. My eight-hour-only contacts I had slept in were sticking to my eyeballs.

We would lurch into Andy's, get our food, and purposefully sit right next to the dressed up church people fresh out of church. We loudly discussed every nasty detail of the previous night's events and planned the next weekend's nasty festivities. Glaring looks from the church people.

I eventually broke up with Band Boy at the end of my sophomore year. Barracuda said, "Dang girl, what took you so long???? He's such an a**hole" I was just marking time until I found me a blue-eyed sweetie. Then Band Boy was toast.

Geez I had a lot of fun in college. I'm too old now to wake up in a nasty house reeking of old beer. But I sure miss those times. And I would like to see one more episode of The Cisco Kid.



Band Boy and I in the Summer of 1980

OMG! Lookit that tube top and mane of permed hair. All I needed was a Marlboro Red hanging off my lower lip and a dubblewide trailer in the background.

I realized not too long after this that I really don't like blondes who use more grooming products than me. I prefer my menfolk dark headed and naturally tousled.


Barracuda and I in the Fall of 1982 at a western themed frat party. Whew! Ditched that permed hair look right after Band Boy.

Word count for this post = 893.
People who will read the whole thing = 2

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Dreaded Ear Saga - Part 2

Oh my, I'm in love.

I decided I couldn't live with my stopped up ears any more. I was going to have to break down and see the dreaded local Primary Care Physician (whom I dislike.) I called to make an appointment this morning and the receptionist said they couldn't find my patient records. That meant that even though I've been going to this doc for ten years I would be classified as a "new" patient. Oh, and he's not accepting new patients.

Well f*** me running. I can't go see the ENT without a referral from the PCP and the PCP won't see me. Watch me seethe about the f***edness of medical care f***edness in south Arkansas.

However, receptionista said that I could see the Nurse Practitioner. Yes! Yes! Will be more than happy too. Turns out I could see her this afternoon. Wow!

She was FABULOUS!!!!! Love, love, love her! She actually LISTENED to what I had to say about my own body and what was wrong. Even though my ears looked perfectly fine to her, she actually believed me when I said they were stopped up. I talked a while, she listened, she asked questions, I clarified. We discussed options, outcomes, Plan Bs. For the first time in my life I felt as though I was treated as a semi-intelligent person by a medical care provider, not just another cow in the herd that day.

I was so in love with her by the end of the visit I would have happily accepted the verdict of three months in a body cast if that's what she had recommended.

If anybody's interested, she gave me a shot of steroids in my hiney to see if that would reduce the inflammation in the eustachian tubes so they would drain. It seemed to be working at first, but now ten hours later I know it wasn't the miracle cure I was hoping for.

We shall be going to Plan B on Wednesday.

But I'm still in love.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sometimes I Hate Being a Girl

It happened again today dangit. It happens every spring. I blame it on early-onset Alzheimer's. Sigh.

Every spring I get the notion that I would like to have some cute, breezy summertime clothes. I go out searching, purchase a few items, then never wear them. What I forget is that I don't have the confirmation to be considered "cute" and, therefore, "cute" clothes on the rack look like crap on me. I have linebacker shoulders, long monkey arms, and Dolly Parton breasticles.

The last time I looked good in the latest fashion was back in the '80s when manish suits with shoulder pads were all the rage. I looked great in those Joan Crawford / Mildred Pierce / Brooks Brothers suits.

But "cute" clothes with those little spaghetti strap numbers are a big no-no. I forget that every spring. Alzheimer's.

I went out today on my delusional annual search. You see, I'm SO tired of wearing mens T-shirts. I wanted something sleeveless in pink or floral or girly-girl. I wanted one of those empire waisted maternity top looking thingies. I wanted the breeze to blow up my shirt on hot, humid days. T-shirts are hot (but not in a sexy hot kinda way.)

I asked sister Nana to go along for moral support. We combed the racks for appropriate items and hit the dressing room with about 14 pieces. Arrrggghhh! It's tough to find shirts that will fit over the girls. I tried on one of those empire waist thingies I so dearly craved and ended up looking like a wet nurse to triplets. Uh, no. So much for that idea.

I remember now why I dress in men's clothing.


Off to the men's department.

Found a cute striped T-shirt there. At least it will be a change from the solid colors I wear now. Alas, it is blue, AGAIN. Not much pink or floral stuff in the men's department.

Those are seersucker shorts underneath the T-shirt by the way. I did manage to find those in the girl's section of the store. And before anyone says anything, NO, I won't wear the two together.

To console my wounded clothing spirit I bought some nail polish for my toesies. At least my feet can look girly-girl in my new flip-flops. I bought the same pair of flops in hot pink too! Squeeee!

Oh wow, it looks like I have hair all over the top of my feet in this picture. I don't, I just need a tan.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

White Squirrel and Other Wildlife

Today Hubby and I took a trip out to White Oak State Park to lollygag around and watch Cindy Lou set up her campsite. Hubby helped with the Tall Guy stuff and I supervised.

We feed the squirrels (a white squirrel!) and the ducks, squealed at a couple of snakes, and relaxed in the breeze coming in off the lake. I even did some quicky sketches. A fun time was had by all.

My day in photographs......

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Baptist's Response

The ink wasn't dry on the previous post before my sister called me squealing with delight.

"Oh, oh, oh, I have the perfect article to go with your blog post about school prayer. It's been stuck in my Bible since 1994!"

(big silence on my end....)

"Uh oh", I think to myself, "this has disaster potential."

You see, very much unlike me, Nana is a faithful, Bible-toting, church-attending Baptist.

"For or against school prayer???," I ask.

"You'll just have to read it. It's perfect. It's about religion in prison."

(This was in response to the line, "After all, we've had prisons full of prayful, public school educated folks waaaay before 1962, haven't we?")

Nana, while a dyed-in-the-wool Baptist, does have a sense of humor and can laugh at herself. She also has an amazingly good natured tolerance of my heretical rants. She hasn't disowned me...yet.

The article was from the Arkansas Times, a weekly news magazine. AR Times asked the Arkansas Department of Corrections if they tracked the religious affiliations of inmates. Turns out they do.

Here's the breakdown among 8,738 inmates:

4 (0%) - Atheist

1,791 (20%) - No preference (the "unchurched") or Unknown (didn't answer the question)

2,319 (27%) - Adherent of a specific faith (Top 5 in this category: Pentecostal - 427, Catholic - 352, Methodist - 278, Christian Church - 256, Islam - 231)

4,624 (53%) - Baptist

Hummmm..... Those Atheists seem to be a pretty law-abiding bunch. And just what are those Baptists teaching in Sunday School that so many of their members end up in the pen????

Nana again squealing on the phone, "Four THOUSAND six hundred Baptists, more than everybody else combined. I wanted to show this article to my Sunday School class and say 'Look here, we're doing something wrong!'"

Gee, ya think???

Maybe our local demon casting Baptist church should take a trip to the state pen and commence with a little demon castin' amongst their brethren. If there was ever a time or place for demon casting, that would be it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Heathern's Rant on School Prayer

Our Town is all abuzz about a church that has gone off the deep end. What once was a rather staid Baptist church has gone into the weeds and started performing demon castings and speaking in tongues.

Their Sunday services are broadcast on the local cable access channel and I've been trying to catch an episode to see and hear this speaking in tongues business, a.k.a. Jibber-Jabberin' Fer Jesus. Um hummm...., yeah. OK.

Anywho, the cable TV guide doesn't list which church has what time slot, so I've been channel surfing on Sunday mornings trying to find these folks. I'll stop and watch any Jesus-Has-Three-Syllables preacher swinging a Bible in front of cheap paneling and plastic plants with grainy production values. They're always a hoot.

One guy from some itty bitty town in Louisiana was railing on about the downfall of the youth of America. He said he could pinpoint just when that happened...when they took prayer out of public schools. That was June 25, 1962 to be exact; I looked it up.

The downfall couldn't have been so instantaneous though. After all, the Class of 1963 had 11 years of praying, the Class of 1968 should have been only 50% downfallen, but the Class of 1974 would have been 100% heatherns (yes, with an "r".)

As a post-'74 grad, I guess I'm one o' them thar heatherns.

The school prayer in question back in '62 was "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen."

Does Preacherman really think this one line every morning can transform a nation of Junior High heathens into little angels? I mean really. Get a grip. And, would the absence of this one line from a child's day cause their eternal soul to be lost forever? Couldn't a family say a couple of extra lines during the blessing at supper to make up for it?

The amount of time I've spent in religious instruction/services from age 4 until the time I left home at 17 is somewhere in the 1,600 hour range. I don't think it made a bit of difference in my life one way or the other. I rillyrilly don't think a single line of prayer before math class would have lifted generations of schoolchildren to righteousness either. After all, we've had prisons full of prayful, public school educated folks waaaay before 1962, haven't we?

So, oh woe is me, I never got to beg the blessings of Almighty God before morning recess, but I've managed to stay out of the state pen thus far. And I don't set foot in a church these days unless somebody's getting married or buried.

I just might show up for one o' them thar demon castin' doings though.

Bonus points if it includes snake handling.